The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Applications for the Juniper Institute for Young Writers 2023 (in person) are now open!

Apply now by clicking here


Applications for Juniper Young Writers Online 2023 will open on April 2.

Our online and in person curriculum is dynamic and community-building. We bring teens together who want to share their poetry and prose with others who are as passionate about writing as they are. We look for writers whose work shows curiosity and risk-taking, and who are eager to experiment with forms and ideas new to them, in the company of their creative peers. Our talented, devoted and empathetic instructors help motivated young writers take their creative work to the next level. Find information below on the application process, and feel free to email us if you have questions!

Upcoming Programming:

Program Date Cost Application Deadline
Juniper Young Writers Online 2023 (JYWO) July 17-21, 2023 $1,000 Scholarship: May 1
Final: Rolling
Juniper Institute for Young Writers 2023 (JIYW) July 23-29, 2023 $2,500 Scholarship: April 1
Final: Rolling
JYWO Winter Workshops 2023 (JYWOWW) TBA TBA TBA

Join our mailing list to get programming updates!


The Juniper Young Writers programs welcome rising sophomores through seniors to apply.

Juniper seeks creative students who are dedicated to exploring the writing process and developing their skills in a collaborative environment. We encourage writers from diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and writing styles to apply.

The Juniper Institute for Young Writers 2023 (in person) scholarship deadline is April 1.
The Juniper Young Writers Online 2023 (online) scholarship deadline is May 1.

To apply for a scholarship, please submit your application by the deadline!

Application Process:

Applications are accepted online, and admission is on a rolling basis until the program is full. For priority consideration, we encourage all applicants to apply by our scholarship deadlines, though applicants will be considered for admission until our summer programs are filled.

Application materials include:

  • Writing Sample: The strength and promise of the writing sample is the most important aspect of your application. It should be 3-5 pages of fiction (double-spaced) or poetry (one poem per page, or longer poems spanning up to 5 total pages of poetry). Samples should be saved in one document (doc, docx, pdf, rtf, or txt). Please include your name & email address as a header or footer.

  • Writer's Statement: A statement of 300 - 500 words that describes your current writing projects and goals, any identities that inform your work, and what being a member of a writing community means to you. Tell us what you write and why you write it!

  • Recommendation Letter*: During the online application process, you will be asked to enter the email address and name of a teacher, educational consultant, professional tutor, or guidance counselor who has agreed to write a recommendation letter on your behalf. Once you submit your application, the reference will receive an email with instructions for how to submit their letter. Please let them know that their letter must be received for your application to be complete. Be sure to obtain permission from your reference before submitting their contact information in your application!


We offer a number of full scholarships. Scholarship support is intended for those participants whose families cannot afford the full cost of the program. BIPOC and young writers of marginalized groups are especially encouraged to apply for the available funding. In order to apply for a scholarship, just click the "Scholarship" button in the "Scholarship Consideration" section of the scholarship application. On average, 30% of our participants attend with funding each year.


Please note that we cannot make offers of admission until we've received your recommendation letter. Once accepted, participation in the Juniper Young Writers programs is guaranteed on a first-come, first-served basis. You will need to enroll and pay a non-refundable $200 deposit to secure your space. Full-scholarship awardees do not have to pay a deposit.

*For Teachers: Recommendation Letters

When a student is filling out their application, they will be prompted to send a recommendation letter request to their reference. The reference will receive an email from Submittable with instructions on how to submit the recommendation letter.

We ask our references to speak to the following qualities in the student in their recommendation letter:

  • Enthusiasm for creative writing
  • Interest in a pre-college experience
  • Maturity, interpersonal and collaborative skills
  • Classroom participation
  • Ability to adapt to a residential learning environment (for the in-person Juniper Institute for Young Writers)

Recommendation letters are due within seven days of application submission, and an application is not considered complete without a recommendation letter. Students are not able to view the recommendation letter on Submittable.